He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5)
The phrase “the new normal” carries scary overtones. It tells the wounded warrior, “From now on, you will live with only one arm.” It tells the new widow, “The rest of your life will be without him.” Presently, we wonder if one day it will tell us, “You will always need a mask.”
We don’t like that new normal. We want the old normal back. We aren’t the first ones to feel that way.
Imagine what it was like for Adam and Eve to wake up in a sin-cursed universe. Weeds were part of the new normal. So were arguments. So was death.
Even, so was murder. Their first-born killed his own brother.
Their joy of living was forever marred by sin and shame. In this new normal, so is ours.
Well actually, “forever” is not the right word. It may seem forever. It may last for the rest of our life on earth. But, in the end, the changed life will itself be changed. This time it will be forever.
A scary thought?
It can be. Those who see no light at the end of the tunnel of life have reason to be frightened. A voice inside of them will say, “This is not going to end well.”
No matter how much money, no matter how much power and glory, old age finally, if not tragedy beforehand, will wipe all that away.
Nothing will be left except a frail body that can no longer cling to life. “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
The new normal that our first parents brought about is streaked with sin and destined for judgment. Moses had it right:
“All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan” (Psalm 90:9).
But there is more to the story.
Those who fear, love, and trust in God actually have something exciting to look forward to. The One sitting on the throne has announced: “I am making everything new!” A new normal that is wonderful awaits us. This one will last forever and forever—and beyond.
No more changes. No more need to improvise, adapt, and overcome. We will find that we have already overcome because our Savior has overcome sin, death, and the devil.
The old order of death and loss is being replaced by a new order. The Savior God declares: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive” (I Corinthians 15:22).
We cannot imagine what that new life will be like. We can only take the best that this life offers—the best moments of peace, the best expressions of love, and the best times of joy— and multiply them by infinity.
The Bible describes it this way: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
That’s something to look forward to, not something to fear. We want that new normal.
We pray, “Lord Jesus, you are with us as we walk through an earthly life that is marked with danger, death, and dread. We have heard your description of the new way of life waiting for us. It’s hard for us to even imagine it. But it doesn’t require our imagination—only our faith in you. Keep us in that faith. Prepare us for the wonderful new normal. Amen.”
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military